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Sunday, January 29, 2023

Lava from Spanish volcano surges after crater collapse

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MADRID (AP) — More earthquakes rattled the Spanish island of La Palma on Monday, as the lava flow from an erupting volcano surged after part of the crater collapsed.

Officials said they didn’t expect to evacuate any more people from the area, because the fiery molten rock was following the same route to the sea as earlier flows.

Spain’s National Geographical Institute said it recorded two quakes early Monday that measured more than 3.0 magnitude, two weeks after the volcano erupted on what is one of the Canary Islands off northwest Africa.

“It’s not over yet, we don’t even know how long there is to go,” the Canary Islands’ regional president Ángel Víctor Torres told public broadcaster RTVE. “We’re in nature’s hands.”

Most of La Palma, where some 85,000 people live, has been unaffected by the eruption. Swift evacuations helped avoid casualties from the eruption.

But the lava is causing significant damage to property, public infrastructure and farmland.

It has so far partially or completely wrecked more than 1,000 buildings, mostly homes, destroyed almost 34 kilometers of roads and entombed 400 hectares (1,000 acres) of land, according to a European Union satellite monitoring agency.

Local authorities prepared to distribute drinking water to homes after the lava flow broke public supply pipes.

The Canary Islands volcanic emergency committee ordered emergency workers and scientists to pull back from the area around the volcano due to poor air quality.

The seismic activity and flow of lava have been uneven, fluctuating from day to day.

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